PSG boss, players impressed by 'exceptional' Parc des Princes atmosphere
PARIS -- Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery hailed the Parc des Princes atmosphere during his team's 3-0 win over bitter rivals Marseille in Ligue 1 on Sunday as "exceptional."
The French capital outfit ripped OM apart at times in the fixture known as Le Classique and goals from Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani, as well as a Rolando own goal, secured a win that opens up a 14-point lead at the summit of Le Championnat.
"The atmosphere was exceptional," Emery said at his postmatch news conference. "You could feel the desire in the stands and on the pitch -- it was a really competitive match.
"We showed that it is a very special game for us and we got an excellent result. It was a clear 3-0 win.
"We maintained our desire to play against a side that tried to stop us from playing. Now we look ahead to the next match in the Coupe de France."
Captain Thiago Silva contributed towards a deserved clean sheet and the Brazil international praised his teammates' collective performance in such a heated encounter.
"Le Classique is always like this," said Silva. "Our rivalry is fierce. Away at Marseille was not easy. However, all the players gave their best out on the pitch here.
"We are very happy with the result and we have extended our lead in the table. Now we need to produce another big performance in the Coupe de France. We have to recover well and come back even stronger because they will be looking for revenge.
"Our supporters are very excited about the coming weeks, which is great, but we have to stay calm, keep working hard and prepare for these big games in the league, the Cup and in the Champions League.
"It is great when the crowd are cheering us on. We finished with 10 men after the injury to Neymar, but we kept our control. It was already 3-0 and we held on for a good win."
Giovani Lo Celso also moved to voice his appreciation for the boiling atmosphere created by the Parc des Princes crowd.
"We are very happy with the win," the Argentina international said. "This is a very important game for us, for the fans. We keep moving forward in the league, winning together.
"The atmosphere was really something special tonight and it is a great source of motivation for us, the players. Right from the first minute, the fans push us on to get the win.
"It was Le Classique, so it is normal that it was a physical match. The important thing is that we scored goals. Winning at home is important for the coming weeks."
Alphonse Areola, who is PSG born and bred, as well as a youth academy graduate, enjoyed the win more than most, and hailed a "perfect night" in the capital.
"It feels great to have got this win, given the rivalry between the two sides," said Areola. "We wanted to show our fans that we were ready to fight.
"We kept a clean sheet and we scored three. It was a difficult match with a lot of fouls and set pieces, but that is the way it is.
"We lost Neymar through injury and we hope he is back on the pitch soon. But it was a perfect night for us, overall. Now we have to be careful in the Coupe de France because they will be looking for revenge."
PSG midfielder Lassana Diarra added of the satisfying night against their bitter rivals: "Everything has already been said tonight."
PSG host Marseille in the Coupe de France and then travel to Troyes in Ligue 1 before Real Madrid visit in the return leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.